Bylaws of the Association of Black Anthropologist
1.The Association shall be known as the Association of Black Anthropologists (ABA), a Section of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). Section refers to ABA; Association refers to AAA.
- The purpose of the ABA shall be to bring together Black Anthropologists and other scholars concerned with the goals of the ABA and support its activities.
- To make known in all forums that people studied by anthropologists are not only objects of study but active makers and/or participants in their own history.
- To highlight situations of exploitation, oppression, and discrimination of which the groups studied by anthropologists are victims, and explain the social, economic, and other causes which engender them.
- To analyze and critique social science theories misrepresenting the reality of exploited groups and to construct more adequate theories to interpret the social dynamics in operation.
- To encourage anthropologists to involve the people studied and the local scholars, whenever possible, in all stages of the research and dissemination of findings.
- To encourage the participation of students of anthropology at all levels while emphasizing recruitment of Black graduate students to the discipline and enrolling Black graduate students to the ABA, as well as mentoring students involved in ABA activities.
- To establish firmer connections and scholarly exchange among Black anthropologists, especially African anthropologists, throughout the World and the encouragement of exchange with appropriate sections of the AAA.
- The Section shall be autonomous in all matters relating to its membership that are not reserved by the Bylaws of the American Anthropological Association, inimical to the American Anthropological Association’s interest, or prohibited by law.
- The Section shall have an elected President, President-Elect, and Secretary/Treasurer. The following officers are appointed by the Executive Board: the nomination committee, members-at-large, editors, archivist, program chair, program-chair elect, and public relationist.
- The Section is empowered to determine membership dues.
- The Section shall determine voting requirements on all ABA matters.
- The Section may engage in publishing and program activities, appoint editors, committees and other agents, and set publication and program policies appropriate to its purposes.
- The Section shall adopt and maintain Bylaws or Rules of Procedure consistent with American Anthropological Association Bylaws. The Section shall file with the American Anthropological Association Secretary a copy of its current Bylaws, Rules of Procedure, and Table of Organization.
- Subject to the payment of dues stipulated by the Section, membership in the Section shall be open to any Member in good standing of the American Anthropological Association who supports the above purposes.
- A member in good standing shall be eligible to hold elective or appointive office, participate in the scientific program, receive publications and have one vote in nominating and electing officers and the transaction of other business of the Section.
- For just cause, a member may be deprived of membership by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board of the ABA, subject to appeal to the Members at the Annual Meeting.
- Associate membership is available to colleagues in related disciplines, entitling them to publications, solely.
- Institutional memberships are available for libraries and cultural organizations, entitling them to publications only.
- The Executive Board of the ABA shall recommend the annual dues of Members and may establish rates for special categories.
- Any Member in arrears in the payment of dues shall lose all membership privileges.
VII. Elected Officers
- The officers shall be a President, President-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer. The term of office for elected officers is two years, commencing at 9 o’clock p.m. on the third day of the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association.
- The President shall be the presiding officer of the Section, its representative on the Section Assembly of the AAA and, should the Section be entitled to such representation, its representative on the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association.
- The President shall possess copies of all records pertaining to ABA activities.
- The Secretary/Treasurer shall have charge of current correspondences and administrative records of the ABA. Upon expiration of the term, all correspondences designated on the Archival checklist for the Secretary/Treasurer must be given to the Archivist.
- The Secretary/Treasurer shall submit a draft budget for the approval of the Executive Board of the ABA not less than ninety (90) days before the Annual Meeting. Upon expiration of the term, all financial records designated on the Archival checklist for the Secretary/Treasurer must be given to the Archivist.
VIII. Appointed Officers
- All appointed officers can be nominated by current members of the ABA. Officers will be appointed by a majority vote of the Executive Board.
- The term of office for Members-at-Large on the Executive Board is one to two years, commencing at 9 o’clock p.m. on the third day of the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. They shall have one vote in making appointments to non-elected positions and the transaction of other business of the Section.
- The term of office for the Vice President of Communications shall be two years, commencing at 9 o’clock p.m. on the third day of the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. The Newsletter Editor and digital editors shall come under the leadership of and report directly to the Vice President of Communications.
- The term of office for the Archivist shall be five years, commencing at 9 o’clock p.m. on the third day of the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. The Archivist shall document and store all records relating to the ABA. In October of each year, the Archivist must submit all material to the Morland Spingarn Research Center.
- The term of office for the Program Chair shall be two years, commencing at 9 o’clock p.m. on the third day of the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. The Program Chair shall be responsible for all scientific programs developed and promoted by the ABA.
- The Program-Chair Elect shall assist the Program Chair the two years prior to becoming Program Chair. The Program-Chair Elect shall succeed to the office of Program Chair at the expiration of the latter’s term.
- The term of office for the Nominations Committee shall be two years, commencing at 9 o’clock p.m. on the third day of the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association.
- The term of office for the Newsletter Editor shall be two years, commencing at 9 o’clock p.m. on the third day of the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association.
- The term of office for the Public Relationist shall be three years, commencing at 9 o’clock p.m. on the third day of the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association.
IX. Executive Board
- There shall be an Executive Board consisting of the elected Officers, two (2) to three (3) Members-at-Large who are appointed, and the General Editor, the program chair, and a student representative to be selected by student members of the ABA.
- One of the at-large members will be the past president. This individual will serve on the Executive Board for one year.
- All members of the Executive Board shall have one vote. A majority vote is needed for decisions to become official by the Executive Board.
- Subject to the directives and limitations imposed by the Members of the Section, the Executive Board shall have the authority to execute on the behalf of the ABA all powers and functions defined in these Bylaws.
- The Executive Board shall meet at least once annually prior to the time of the Annual Meeting. It may meet additionally on the call of the President or a majority vote of the Executive Board.
- The Executive Board shall make all nonelective appointments and make interim appointments to fill vacancies in any office until the next regularly scheduled election.
- The Executive Board shall appoint a Nomination Committee, Chair of the Nomination Committee, Archivist, Program Chair, Program-Chair Elect, Members-at-Large, General Editor and Newsletter Editor.
X. The General Assembly
- The membership of the ABA shall meet once each year as the General Assembly to conduct the business of the Section.
- Decisions of the General Assembly shall be by majority vote and are binding on all the members of the Section.
- A mail ballot shall be sent to the Membership for all elected officers, changes in the ABA Bylaws, and any matter which drastically alters the position of the ABA within the AAA, but not for decisions made during the Annual Business Meeting.
XI. Annual Meeting Report
- At the time of the Annual Meeting, the Executive Board of the Section shall report its activities to the Members and to the Board of Directors of the AAA.
- The Executive Board report shall include the reports of elected officers, appointed officers, appointed committees, and other agents officially representing the ABA.
- The Executive Board report may also include agenda items suggested by the initiative of ABA members, as long as (a) the President is notified at least three (3) weeks before the meeting; and (b) if the current meeting agenda allows the time for the volunteered report to be considered.
- Volunteered reports that are not presented at the meeting will be submitted in writing to the Newsletter Editor who will publish them.
- The ABA shall hold an Annual Business Meeting at the time of the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association.
- The place and date of the Annual Meeting shall be disclosed to the members not less than one hundred twenty (120) days in advance of the meeting.
- Five (5) percent of the Members in good standing shall constitute a quorum at the Annual Business Meeting.
- A majority of the Members of the Executive Board of the ABA shall constitute a quorum for transacting business.
- The business of the ABA shall be transacted by majority vote unless otherwise provided in these Bylaws.
- The Executive Board shall bring before the membership proposals for standing committees and shall be empowered to appoint ad hoc committees.
XV. Nominations and Elections
- Candidates for any elective office may be nominated by the Executive Board of the Section, by a Nominations Committee, and/or by Members. All candidates shall be Members in good standing of the ABA.
- A Nominating Committee of three (3) Members shall be appointed by the Executive Board of the ABA. The Chair of the Nominations Committee shall be one of the three Members.
- The Chair of the Nominations Committee shall be appointed by the Executive Board.
- The Nomination Committee shall nominate at least two persons for each vacant office. These nominations shall be made known to the Members at least one hundred and eighty (180) days before the Annual Meeting.
- Any Member in good standing may nominate an additional candidate for any office, provided the nomination is conveyed to the Chair of the Nominations Committee at least two hundred and ten (210) days before the Annual Meeting.
- The Chair of the Nominations Committee shall inform the prospective nominee of the probable extent of the burden of office. A nomination becomes effective only upon filing with the Chair of the Nominations Committee and the Secretary/Treasurer, a statement of willingness and ability to devote such time to the affairs of the ABA as necessary to effectively execute the officer’s duties.
- The Nominee must write a background profile and statement of goals and objectives relating to the ABA to be published in the Anthropology Newsletter.
- The Chair of the Nomination Committee must submit a copy of the nominee’s background profile and statement to the Secretary/Treasurer.
- A Member in good standing shall be entitled to cast one ballot in any election or referendum.
- Ballots shall be secret and enclosed in a signed envelope. The Executive Board shall have the authority to examine the eligibility of any voter.
- At least thirty (30) days shall be allowed for the return of ballots. Ballots must be received not later than the stated return date to be counted.
- The candidate receiving the most votes for a contested office shall be elected. The Executive Board of the ABA shall hold a run-off election within ninety (90) days to resolve all ties.
- A referendum must be conducted by mail ballot at any time upon initiation of the Executive Board of the ABA, or upon receipt by the Secretary of a petition signed by ten Members or five (5) percent of the Members in good standing.
- The fiscal year of the ABA shall be that of the AAA.
- The ABA shall submit an annual operations budget to the AAA Board of Directors which, when approved, shall govern ABA Activities.
- The income from annual dues and from investments and other sources shall constitute a working fund, available for operating, publication, and current expenses consistent with the purposes of the ABA.
- No financial obligation in excess of funds available in the treasury shall be assumed by the Executive Board of the Section or any officer on behalf of the ABA except that for the purpose of this section, estimated receipts from annual dues and other accounts receivable for the current year may be considered as available funds.
- The ABA may establish special funds to be administered by the AAA for purposes the ABA may designate.
- The Bylaws may be amended by the Members by mail ballot, provided that a proposed amendment is approved by two thirds (2/3) of the votes cast.
- Amendments may be proposed by the Executive Board of the ABA or by five (5) percent of the Members in good standing. The Executive Board shall have the proposed amendment circulated to the Members and it shall allow thirty (30) days for the return of ballots.
- The amendments and provisions of these Bylaws shall be effective immediately upon adoption and shall supersede and nullify all previous amendments and provisions.
- An elected officer can be impeached by majority vote of the Executive Board or 5% of membership signatures sent to the President or any member of the Executive Board. The impeachment is effective immediately.
- Impeachments can be appealed and rescinded by majority vote of the Membership at the Annual Meeting.
- Conditions for impeachment include: a Presidential vote at a AAA meeting which violates consensus of ABA membership, nonperformance of duties by any officer, or violation of ABA Bylaws by any officer.
- An appointed officer can be removed by a majority vote of the Executive Board.
XXI. Advisory Council
- An Advisory Council shall be established to consist of noted Black and other anthropologists who are members of the Section, or who will become Members upon acceptance of the Section’s invitation to be an advisory council Member, and who adhere to the principles of the ABA, and pursue objectives compatible with those of the Association. The role of such an advisory committee is to advise the ABA and to assist the Section in achieving the goals expressed in Article III.
Revised August 1, 2019